Tag: Colour

1st Week!

What a week its been! Everything has built up to the first classes of the Fall term (or the Autumn Term for those back home in UK).

I’ve figured that as well as doing the monthly blogs, I might do a weekly blog as well detailing everything I have gotten up to the week in a more condensed form, leaving my vlogs to me a more overview sight of the month!

So here goes…


So the first class to begin the term off was my Photography, Art, and the Media: The 19th Century.  To start off the class, we decided to watch two film to make us think about the age old question: What is Photography? The films to help the grey brain cells were:

  • Ulysses: Based on a picture that was somewhat spontaneous, the director looked at how the memory affected those that were part of the original photo and how much they could remember of it, whilst also looking at the other historical events that were happening at the same time.
  • Nostalgia: Looking at the pictures taken back by Hollis Frampton, we are taken down a journey with personal comments made on each individual picture whilst they are being burnt; however there is a slight twist to it (watch the film to find out!)

Both of these films were a great start in getting the whole group to think not critically, but offer a variety opinions not only on the film but towards the question “What is Photography?”


Oh yes. The class I was pumped for. This was the beginning of the Colour Printing class, taught by Darin Mickey (have a look at his work if you can!) I was quite excited for this class as it was going to push me into a new limit of analogue I have always wanted to try. Shooting in colour isn’t the hardest, but being able to go into a fully functioning colour lab? It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass down.

And although we didn’t go straight into printing this week, we are given quite a few tips. For example, with negative printing (this would be colour and Black+White shooting) you want to over pose the prints more as it allows it to be dealt easier in printing.

This can be done by either going up an aperture or shutter stop. However, an easier way is that if you are using a light meter, by changing the ISO settings on it, it will automatically give you that 1 stop change.


A 400 ISO —> Shoot at “200 ISO”

So now its onto shooting more rolls of film in order to start printing!

In the afternoon, we had our first Seminar class. As we were in smaller groups, it was an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better, with everyone talking about their interests, their aspirations etc. It was interesting to hear what everyone had to say, giving a deeper insight into them all. Afterwards, we started looking through each others work, but in a different critique method: instead of explaining their work, we as the viewers had to decipher the work with no help and make our own interpretations on it, providing interesting responses.


This was the first lecture with the Dean of the School, Fred Ritchin. This was possibly the one class I had no idea of what to expect, apart from that I was prepared for a lot of information to be heading my way.

And I was right! In three hours, which seemed to fly by so quickly, we had covered so much material my brain was hurting. The conversation started talking off about hyper text (non linear narrative) and how it can begin a collaboration with the reader, something which the digital is good at doing. This then led on to a conversation about digital and analogue and the restrictions between the two and how a multitude of ideas can be implemented differently.

We was introduced to a site Fred used to run called pixelpress.org which should the capabilities of the digital in which analogue could not do, and in how text can provide a different meaning to the image as well. Do have a look at the website, as it will definitely start making you think about how important text is…


This was the start of my video class. I know I have already done video in the past, however I personally del that there was much more that I could lear from this, especially in terms of editing the video to an acceptable standard.

So we was introduced to some of the tools in order to give more steady shots (fluid tripods, shoulder rigs) as well as some of the better external microphones that we had on offer for us to use. And it was drilled in that with DSLR’s, the internal microphone is rubbish, so using an external microphone is always the route you want to head along.

We was also given our assignment for the week which was to shoot a video on out daily routine, and we was advised to follow the 5 second rule (don’t remain on a frame for more then 5 seconds.) To help us understand this more, we was shown then short film The Big Shave by Sorcasse (again something I would highly recommend but be warned, very graphic!)  to show us how we could shoot a similar video.


The class where I was different whoop!

So this was the first class for Future Storytelling and the main thing was that stories can be told however we want them to, whether it be via Transmedia (art of telling one story over multiple media where each is unique) and Multimedia (different forms of media to create powerful stories that can communicate.)

However to make a more powerful story sometimes, it is best to get the obvious out of the way in order to surprise both the audience and you, with surprise being a way for the brain to release dopamine to the body.

We was also introduced to the different types of User experiences out there:

  • Visceral design
  • Behavioural design
  • Reflective design

And finally, to finish off the week, we had our Digital technical seminar to round off the afternoon. This was just a quick introduction and recap over Colour theory and how the Primary and Complimentary colours work together and how it helps with colour correction.

For example:

If there are 256 different shades of RGB (primary colours), we could check to see if we have a correct exposure on an area by clicking a grey area to make sure that there are equal amounts there, such as R= 119 G= 119 B=119.

If one is unequal, then you have to change the others so that you can make everything balanced out

This led onto us talking about histograms and the actual importance they hold when we go and take photographs. The rule of thumb for getting a good capture is to get your histogram more to the right (e.g. making it more over exposed.) Now this may seem strange to do, however this allows the highlights to have more information stored in them and giving more subtlety in the tonal ranges. So when it comes to editing the picture, you can avoid loosing any information in any area if you decided to darken the image in RAW for example.

I also learnt the use of the HDR feature as well! If you are in a situation where you cannot change your histogram at the risk of loosing information in your image, you can use the HDR feature to give a more rounded exposure that will give the information in all areas of the picture by combining multiple images of different exposures.

So yeah, that was just a general overview of what I got up to this week… A lot isn’t it? There was more I could have included, but all I have mentioned was probably the more interesting stuff I think! Next week will begin to get more serious, and I can’t wait for it as it means more information is gonna be chucked at me and I so ready to absorb it all! Until next time!


The use of Background Colour

In my last feedback session with Matt and Caroline, one of the things that they pointed out in my images that didn’t work at all was the use of the background colour. I had decided to use blue as how watches are photographed today, but in the end it was too distracting.

So to help me think about how I should shoot my next lot of images, I was told to look at some artists who purposely use a background colour to help their images.

David Balhuizen:

In his work Assistants, Balhuizen took a series of portraits of young photographers that had just come out of college and those that are exploring a new area from a different career.

David-Assistants(Vue, 2009)

Wehn paying attention to the background, the first thing I noticed is the how Balhuizen uses a very simplistic pastel colour (one that isn’t very distracting) for us to fully concentrate on the main focus, which is the person. There is a certain casualness being shown from the subject as there isn’t a rigidness. However, in the facial expressions there is some sort of mystery as they look almost quizzical. And that causes the viewer to fully focus onto them to examine them fully.
I feel that having the light background compliments the whole image, as it separates the people. This allows us to investigate them fully without having to look around the whole image for anything else.

Steve Pyke:

I have already looked at Pyke’s work before, but that was more on the details in his shoes over his every day life that he was aiming to show off. However, after re-looking at his work, I started to notice on how the use of his white background really helps compliment his work.

soles_01(Pyke, n.d.)

What is interesting to note is that I feel that any other colour of background would not have had the same impact on the images at all. The plain white background isolates the shoes completely, making them their own entity. If it had been done on a coloured background, it wouldn’t look that serious. To isolate the image on itself is a difficult task, so it requires a lot of thought and continuity.
This was one of the problems in the last set of images, as the blue background kept on changing so none of the images had the same flow to them. The blue was very distracting and took our eye away from the watch, so we couldn’t focus on the main area.

Henrik Duncker:

Duncker used his background colour in a completely different method to the other two artists; here in his work, he uses the background colour in order compliment the object he is photographing.


What is interesting in his project is that each individual picture has different colours, so there is no consistent pattern. However, we don’t notice the change as much due to how it blends in as a whole. So in this aspect, it is also appropriate to think about how the background colour fits in with the object your photographing. It is better to help and add to the image (Like Duncker with his objects) rather then putting in something that detracts from the image.

So overall, there have been some key points to take from all of this is:

  • Help isolate the key focus
  • Don’t make the background too distracting
  • Make it compliment the object
  • Keep it simple

Balhuizen, D. (n.d.). David Balhuizen. [online] Davidbalhuizen.com. Available at: http://www.davidbalhuizen.com/ [Accessed 23 Nov. 2014].

Duncker, H. (2012). henrik duncker photography / series / Studio Kapsede. [online] Henrikduncker.com. Available at: http://www.henrikduncker.com/series/ [Accessed 23 Nov. 2014].

Pyke, S. (n.d.). Soles #1. [image] Available at: http://www.pyke-eye.com/Still-Life/1/caption/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].

Vue, (2009). Behind The Image – Portraits from David Balhuizen. [online] Available at: http://www.vue-us.com/blog/2009/06/Behind-The-Image—Portraits-from-David-Balhuizen [Accessed 23 Nov. 2014].